Neighborlink Volunteer Project
It’s every homeowner’s worst nightmare.
Back in mid-November, an elderly man returns from the hospital. He has renal failure, a condition that, if left untreated, can lead to toxicity of the blood, a need for transplant, or even death. He returns home from his treatment to find that his house had caught fire:
It was an enormous loss.
The fire department put the fire out but left a hole in the roof and damaged the back wall. Drywall was severely damaged in several rooms. Smoke and water damage was rampant throughout the home. The structure was left in unlivable conditions.
After this tragedy, his wife and family had no where else to turn to but a loaned RV that sat across the street from the dilapidated house. It had heat, but no water, making for miserable living conditions. There was no insurance on the home, and there were little meaningful financial resources for the family to fall back on. The wife was working desperately to get the home repaired so her family could return to it, but with little luck.
That was when the local community came together.
Dave Withey of NeighborLink Indianapolis responded immediately. Neighborlink is a small nonprofit that provides free home repairs to very low-income senior homeowners and homeowners with disabilities. They worked to find the couple a loan to help with the cost of repairs. In addition to this, they reached out to other organizations and coordinated contractors to help with the project.
St. Francis, the hospital that the gentleman was being treated, paid for a dumpster and Neighborlink organized students from the University of Indianapolis to clear refuse from the house. Citizen’s Energy agreed to restore furnace and heat to the dwelling. But they needed help with the wiring, and since the drywall was down in damaged areas of the house, volunteers could clear old wiring as needed – even install new if they were under professional direction. But they needed professional electricians to assess and direct the rewiring.
That’s when Withey reached out to Central Indiana IEC for help.
Executive Director Sherri Puckett took charge and began making calls to our contractor members to rally the troops. It became known around the office as the “Perry St. Project.” Our members were more than happy to get their hands dirty and help. We had support from InPwr, DGH, Inc., Kinder Electric, and Allied Wholesale Electrical Supply, and on a cool morning, gentlemen from these companies tore out and reinstalled the wiring in the house in less than eight hours.
IEC understands and values the ties that it has to the community. We know how much support we gather from the individuals around us, and we work at every opportunity to give back. We’re so happy to have contributed our specialty to help those in need, and we’re looking for more opportunities to be of service in the near future.
Also recognizing the great work done by (left to right) Chris McMann, Darrell Smith, Matt Wagoner, Michael Block, Aaron Bish.
Left to Right: Thad Riddle, Gabriel Yatsac.